From education to employment

Continuing our monthly feature on the work of union learning reps IT support assistant,Bill Ahea

My name is Bill Ahearne and I work for the CLARET Centre in Rastrick. The wrong side of 45 and with mainly a technical background, I decided it was time to make some changes, and see what other jobs were out there. Using a mixture of volunteer work, part time jobs and re-training over the past two years I have arrived in my present part-time position as an IT support assistant, a job description I soon found was rather a loose term for the role.The CLARET Centre is an adult learning unit based at Rastrick High School. Our learners study IT1 (IT for Life) and IT2 (ECDL) courses. A learner will often begin with the line “I know a bit about computers” or “I know nothing”, but are often amazed how much their computer skills can improve, in a very short space of time. They all appreciate that they have flexible access, can do as much of their course as they like at a time and at their own pace. They know that there’s always someone about to help if they get stuck and explain anything that they”re finding difficult. Oh! And there’s free coffee.

I have found that you need to be computer literate, have a good range of literacy and numeracy skills, be patient and possess a sense of humour. But above all you must be able to motivate and support learners with a wide range of abilities through to the successful completion of their courses. Oh! And be good at making coffee.

Bill Ahearne

Related Articles